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Almaty earthquake boosts demand for apartments in Astana

05 february 2013, 20:07
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The recent series of tangible earthquake in Almaty has propelled demand for apartments in Astana, Tengrinews.kz reports.

According to Ruslan Ungefug from one of Kazakhstan's real estate agencies, the repetitive shocks in Almaty became one of the factors affecting the growing demand for real estate in Astana.

"We have noticed this trend a long time ago. Once Almaty is hit by an earthquake, we start receiving a good number of calls from Almaty citizens willing to buy apartments in Astana," the expert said adding that views of the company's website peaked at night on January 29 after the recent strong earthquake in Almaty.

The agency registered 464 website views that night, while normally this number does not exceed 250 views. Besides, the agency noted that the number of applications it received increased by 20 percent.

"Of course, Almaty residents willing to leave the southern capital are searching for alternative real estate in other cities of the country. Astana is the most attractive city, because everyone realizes the capital's big prospects and especially its high investment potential. Buying real estate in Astana currently make sense from investment point of view, even it the apartment is bought for personal use," Ungefug added.

According to the expert, Almaty residents mostly prefer low storey buildings with not more than 5 or 7 floors because for fear of earthquakes. "Another preference of Almaty residents is fenced area around the building and with lots of trees around," he added.

Meanwhile, the owner of another real estate agency Sergey Pogrebnyak does not agree with his competitor's statements. According to him, there was no surge of demand for real estate in Astana among Almaty residents after the earthquake.

"Same as before, the series of earthquakes in Almaty caused a short wave of demand for private houses and apartment on lower floors. However, there was no significant growth in the number of offers of apartments in multi-storey buildings," Pogrebnyak said.

He also added that apartments in brick houses at middle floors in Almaly and Bostandyk regions of Almaty are traditionally of highest demand in the city. As the choice of such apartments is relatively small, the sellers set the prices 20-30 percent higher than the market prices.

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